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Assessment finance Operations and People Sales & marketing strategy Tools Year 1

Lean Internationalization – how to enter new markets with less financial risk

Lean Internationalization® – how to expand to international markets without breaking the bank from Jan Sauer
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Operations and People Year 1

A note as to finding the right Country Manager for your US-operation

Ask yourself the following:
– Who on my team has worked with me for a very long time,
– do I trust fully with a P&L of the USA and to do the best thing for the company,
– knows the ins and outs of our business,
– do i respect and can make me change my mind,
– is able to think strategically and provide input down to the tactical and operational level based on market feedback,
– knows our organization inside and out and has trust throughout = can get things done by people that do not report to him,
– is able to engage and listen to customers in a professional manner,
– is able to translate customer feedback into actionable insights for his organization (product, support, sales, implementation, pricing, etc)
– is resourceful and creative and has proven to be able to take on the hardest and toughest projects that require stamina and determination to succeed?
– is able to work well together with someone native from the USA,
– speaks and writes good English,
– has the family environment conducive to our ambitions.

Were you able to check off all the boxes? Congratulatins, you’ve found a great candidate to be your Country Manager!

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Resources Year 1

What does it cost to run your US operation? A real-life expense template based on having helped over 50 international companies in the USA

Because we get the question: “What does it cost to do business in the USA?” we’ve decided to publish a template budget for year 1 of your US operation. This template budget can be found under resources here.

Since we’ve worked with a large variety of firms, we believe the budget represents a good baseline for any type firm, i.e. you should be able to use it as a baseline for budgeting and forecasting. Please note that the biggest variables in the budget are represented by your staffing needs and your emphasis on growing inbound demand through digital marketing and events.

The team behind @katapultgroup has helped over 50 small and midsize technology enabled companies with establishing and growing their operations in the USA. From this experience, we’ve learned a few tricks as to the best and most economical way of setting up your US subsidiary and running it in a capital efficient manner. Please feel free to reach out to us to discuss.

Below is a copy paste version of the budget if you’d like to simply review it:

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Operations and People Sales & marketing Year 1

The Startup Chasm – the most difficult journey for international companies entering the USA.

Small and medium-sized international businesses who want to enter and grow in the USA will need to pass the “Startup Chasm” – the most difficult journey for international companies wanting to enter the USA and achieve success.

I define the Startup Chasm (inspired by Geoffrey Moore’s Chasm theory) by the critical first period you have to go through after evaluating the market and having said GO to entering the USA, but before you have a significant customer base and a steady and ongoing business in the United States. Looking in the rearview mirror the Startup Chasm is easy to recognize and rationalize however looking ahead and into the Chasm, the Chasm most often is appearing as small, insignificant and very temporary. A small hole in the ground that will be easy to surpass.

Most small and medium-sized international enterprises are sadly unaware of the depth of the Startup Chasm and the resource requirements for successfully making it through. This lack of respect and know how of the Startup Chasm is, in my experience the primary reason for international businesses to fail in the US market.

If you want to survive in the US-market, you need to be highly aware of the Startup Chasm, the resources and team work it takes to overcome it and the time before the Chasm is behind you. Most companies that fail in the USA fail for some reason related to being unable to make it through the Startup Chasm. 

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Operations and People Year 1

What is your Sales Manager really doing back there???

Welcome to doing business in the USA!

The United Stated of America. This is place where time never stops, when everyone is 24/7, where expectations are high….Are you ready for it?

If you sell technology your lonely wolf, the person that “runs your US Operation” will also have to be:
– The Account Manager
– Your 1st level supporter
– Your book keeper
– Your Junior Legal Councel
– The marketing department
– Your shipping and handling department
– Your Risk Management department to handle insurance coverage needs with your enterprise customers

His or her most important role is to be your Sales Manager. Please make it possible!